DIY projects in the garden are in many ways similar to those within the home. You need to have a carefully worked out and detailed plan before you start, make sure that you have all of the right materials to hand and that you have the right tools for the job. In other ways, however, they are not the same at all. For one thing, you will be working outdoors and that means that the weather will be a big factor. If you are putting in a new tiled floor for your kitchen, for example, you do not need to worry about whether it is raining hard or freezing cold outside. If you are laying a new patio, then of course these things must be taken into account. Longer term planning is key for garden DIY projects, with most jobs requiring the reasonably warm and dry weather of spring or summer. You must think ahead before starting something that will need these kinds of conditions or get caught out in the rain and snow.
Naturally, it is possible to do something such as erect a new fence or build a wall in the middle of winter. If there is no way to avoid it you can be successful with these kinds of projects. However, you will substantially increase your workload. Both jobs will mean digging into the ground, either to make holes for fence posts or a trench to lay the foundation for a wall. If you have ever had to dig up soil that is frozen solid, you will appreciate that there is an enormous extra effort involved. This type of DIY work really is best left to the warmer months.
Another issue that can arise when contemplating DIY projects in the garden is planning permission. Unless you are building a large extension, converting an attic or making other major alterations to your home, you do not generally have to worry about gaining permission from the local council. When it comes to the garden, however, there can be more potential problems than you think. There are often restrictions, for instance, on the height of walls or fences you are allowed to erect. These restrictions are also usually different for walls or fences in the front garden and back garden and this is all worth checking out first.
You will also find that councils do not operate uniform policies across the country. Putting up a particular size of shed may be allowed in one area but not in another. Always check with the local Planning Officer before embarking on these types of jobs. It is not just the size of the structure that matters either, it is often the way it will be used that counts. A shed may be permitted but not a garden office of the same size.
Safety is a very important issue when doing any kind of DIY and no more so than in the garden. Make sure that all of your tools are properly maintained and suitable for use outdoors and use the appropriate parts, screws and fixtures and fittings. You will often be using power tools that will require a long extension cable. This can present dangers as it can be quite easy to inadvertently cut through them, with all the risks of accidental electrocution that entails. You can buy special circuit breakers to avoid these kinds of risk. Finally, one often overlooked danger of performing strenuous work in the garden is over-exposure to the sun, leading to burning or even sunstroke. Try not to work in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest and use sunscreen if necessary.